Navigating your way through the ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 is a minefield for business owners and workers.

Social distancing is the best defence against Covid-19, so if your workplace requires close physical contact between staff and customers it can't operate.

If you can change how you do business so you can meet the safety requirements you might be able to work under level 3.

If you can work from home, you should be.


Here's the quick guide to who can and can't work - in Auckland and the rest of the country.

Source -

All businesses must manage and stop the spread of Covid-19 transmission as part of meeting health and safety obligations.

As a business owner you must tell anyone and everyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away.

Masks are encouraged for all New Zealanders, but may be mandatory for workers, contractors and customers as part of health and safety obligations.

From 11:59 am on Wednesday 19 August all businesses must display a NZ COVID Tracer QR code for each business location.

It must be in either a prominent place or near main entrances.


Customers and staff need to maintain a physical distance of two metres.


While at work, staff must remain a minimum of 1 metre apart at all times where practical.

If your business is a close contact service and you are allowed to open you must keep contact tracing records, and increase hygiene measures such as hand washing, surface cleaning, and wear appropriate PPE gear to stop the spread of Covid-19.

There are different guidelines for essential healthcare workers, border agencies, courts and tribunal staff, emergency workers and corrections staff.

Can you go into people's homes for work?

Real estate agents can run open home as normal in level 2 but these are still subject to physical distancing.

Property managers can operate in level 2.

In level 3 this work needs to be done remotely (video link) but offices can still open to agents who cannot work from home.


Couriers can operate in alert level 2 and 3 as long as the delivery is contactless.

Removal firms can operate in both levels 2 and 3.

Plumbers, electricians, and tradespeople can operate but home cleaners can only work in level 2.

And if we go to level 4?

Under Level 4 lockdown people are instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement.

All businesses are closed except for essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, reduced public transport and utilities.

That means fast food, takeaways and contact-free delivery are all off the menu.


Hardware stores which meet strict criteria can supply trade to essential service providers such as plumbers and electricians.

What can stay open in level 4?


Dairies (one-in-one-out rule)


Service stations




Liquor stores within a Licensing Trust Area and with (one-in-one-out rule)

Self-service laundries (two-metre distancing)

Trade for essential services sales at Mitre 10, Bunnings, etc

Food bag/box (not cooked) services

Everything else must close or have workers work from home.


What about a mask?

Alert level 3

Everyone should be wearing a mask when out and about.

Alert level 4

You should be at home in your bubble but if you are out you must wear a mask.